All hail the conquering heroes

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SPAIN’S CAPITAL city became one giant street party last weekend, as first, the fans of Real Madrid celebrated their club’s 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final in Cardiff on Saturday, then returned the following evening to welcome home the ‘Living Legends’ of the history making team.

Cristiano Ronaldo was once again hailed as Real Madrid’s hero as fans crammed into the club’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium and streets across the Spanish capital to wildly celebrate a record 12th European Cup win on Saturday.

While Ronaldo’s double sentenced Juventus to a comprehensive 4-1 defeat at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, nearly 2,000 kilometres away over 70,000 supporters congregated to watch the match on eight giant screens erected on the Bernabeu turf.

Then, thousands of delirious Real Madrid fans poured onto the streets of the Spanish capital to catch a glimpse of Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates on Sunday as they paraded the Champions League trophy for a record 12th time.

The record breaking team, as well as winning back-to-back Champions Leagues, also beat Barcelona to La Liga two weeks ago to complete a first league and european Cup double for 59 years.

Ronaldo sported a newly cropped haircut and he and captain Sergio Ramos led the traditional festivities for a major Real celebration as the players greeted local government dignitaries before parading the famous trophy in an open top bus around the Cibeles fountain in the city centre.

Strict security measures were visible across the city in light of recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.

Ronaldo scored twice in Real’s 4-1 thrashing of Juventus in Cardiff on Saturday as the Spanish giants became the first side to retain the Champions League.

“The players have entered into the legend of Real Madrid and of football, as has our coach,” said club president Florentino Perez, as he reserved special praise for Zinedine Zidane.

The Frenchman, who himself won the Champions League as a legendary player for Real between 2001 and 2006, has enjoyed spectacular success since taking his first role in senior management just 18 months ago.

A third Champions League win in four years has drawn comparisons to the great Real side that were crowned champions for the five inaugural years of the champions league forerunner, the European Cup between 1955 and 1960.

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